We will cover in general 8 things every aspiring restaurant owners should consider before setting up a new food & beverage business. We will lightly touch on each topic and will delve deeper into each topic in the upcoming posts.
The Business Plan
Have a business plan for your business, this is one of the most important steps in starting a new business. A business plan will provide a backbone and structure to how you will proceed with your exciting new venture. Here are some topics that you should cover in your restaurant business plan,
Industry overview, who are your target market, competitor analysis, location analysis, marketing strategy, operations plan, administrative controls for cash flow, accounting etc.
Do a business environment analysis, study your competitors and leverage on how you can capture the market share.
“An army may be likened to water, for just as flowing water avoids the heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids strength and strikes weakness.” Sun Tzu
Know your strengths and capitalize on it.
“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril” Sun Tzu
For more resources on business plans and business plan templates, click here. For more information on Sun Tzu Art of War click here.
Automating you operations either by using POS system, mobile ordering, online ordering through website or apps, table management softwares, inventory management system and also loyalty marketing systems. All food and beverage outlets should be leveraging on available systems and technologies to make your business stand out from the crowd. FoodZaps restaurant point of sale and mobile ordering system is designed specifically for the restaurant businesses, click here to download the FoodZaps app on Google Play. There are plenty of apps and systems out there that covers the areas mentioned above, do choose wisely and pick the one that suits your business needs the most.
The Marketing and PR
Marketing and getting people to know about your restaurant. Leverage on social media such as Pinterest and Instagram, here are some examples of restaurants doing it right on social media. One good example of leveraging social media is Chili’s using an egg glaze on its burger buns. This create an appetising sheen on its buns when taken in photos. So what does this do? It looks great on Instagram! And almost every millennial is on Instagram this days, they are the best advocate for your restaurant. One thing to consider for your food presentation is to make them Instaworthy. This will increase the number of shares of your food on social media and generate buzz for your restaurant. As of now they have close to 75k followers on their Instagram account.
Ultimately, make your food instaworthy and your customers will be more than happy to spread the word for you. Get connected with influencers and food bloggers within your area, get them to review your food and restaurant.
Hire people who are passionate about food and delivering good service, this should be your main criteria during the hiring process.You can ask qualifying questions during the hiring process to help sift out the best match for your restaurant. For service staff, you’d want to provide a scenario based interview and see how they respond to difficult customers.
Make sure you do your research on all the relevant licensing and permits that you’ll need to have proper for your business. This may include food handling permits, alcohol license, halal certifications etcetera. This may vary between different countries, do make sure all the paperwork are proper before starting your business.
The Supply Chain
Source for good and reliable suppliers and have a good relationship with your supplier. This is key to getting the freshest produce and ingredients you will need and ensure that you don’t run out of ingredients. This will provide a negative customer experience for your customers.
What makes a good menu, how many items should I have. Should I hire a professional graphic designer to design my menu or just laminate a piece of paper and call it a day. As a general guide to creating your menu, ensure that you take the following into consideration,
- Use descriptive language.
- Don’t use the dollar sign.
- Use colour to your advantage. Click Here for more information on which colour to use in your menu.
- Reduce the use of jargon or include a short explanation of the dish in a descriptive manner.
- Placement of items that you want to push is also important, make sure you do some research on where to place the items on your menu.
Looking for inspiration for your restaurant menu? Click Here.
And most importantly, maintain a high standard in culinary consistency and standards. This will be the bread and butter of your business, ensure that your food meets the expectation and your customers will keep coming back. Always respect the feedbacks and reviews from your customers and strive to improve. Having said that, have a channel which is easily accessible for your customers to provide feedback. This can be good old pen and paper style feedback form placed on the dining tables or at the payment counter. Alternatively you might want to consider automating this with apps that are available in the market.
To sum things up here are the 8 points once again:
- The Business Plan
- The Operations
- The Marketing and PR
- The Staff
- The Paperwork
- The Supply Chain
- The Menu
- The Food
In the upcoming weeks we’ll go deeper into each topics. Hope you have a better understanding on starting a new food & beverage business. Do check out FoodZaps Start Up Kit which aims to provide a hassle free mobile ordering and restaurant Point of Sales System at an affordable price. Know anyone who is interested to start an F&B business or if you are intending to start one? Do share this article!